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Showing posts from 2010

Nang tokx: Na'vi tuté

Heather and I waited to see Avatar until almost everyone else had seen it in the theaters - then we decided to go. But we loved it all the same. I'm sure Owen enjoyed the sounds through mommy's skin because the sound effects were so loud it startled us! H and I loved the storyline, the graphic brilliance, and the skillful and tastefully designed fight scenes. (Maybe I liked the fight scenes more than H did - did you see the bows and arrows?!)

However, before we saw the movie, I was privileged to read an article in Wired Magazine (my newest favorite reading obsession) about how the planet Pandora, the Na'vi people, and how the movie Avatar was created. It's really a fascinating story in Wired. (For an abridged version of the article, you can visit it here: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/11/ff_avatar_cameron/)

And between the article I read and the movie we watched we had the privilege of attending the baptism of our niece, Caroline. Traveling back to Carly and Jim&#…

Found Object: Wild Turkeys!

Last fall, I had the privilege of encountering many turkeys on my way to class. I guess a lot of other folks had this same experience because Campus Safety emailed out a warning as to how to adjust to our poultry pals. Better to adjust your walkway than get into a fight with a turkey, was the logic.

For your viewing pleasure, I suggest you consider this scene: I'm walking to class and minding my own business. Probably trying to recall some Greek paradigm with a coffee in one hand, and a granola bar in the other. I'm making my way to class and walking up hill to the main academic building. Since Owen was born, I've been late to many classed so imagine also my stride is rather hurried. Then from out of nowhere I spy a turkey. He's either eyeing me suspiciously or totally oblivious of my existence. Either way I try not to make direct eye contact. He shakes his gizzard or his wattle at me - which I know not. He is menacingly staring as I continue to hurry past. Thankfully…

Found Objects: Tater Tots?

So, I'm sitting in class and it's a little after 6pm. Class begins and I pull open BibleWorks 7 so I can follow along with whatever we are talking about that day. Upon clicking on the BibleWorks link, this screen pops up. "Tater tots?" I think to myself "why do I see tater tots?" In a psychedelic blending of worlds and space and time - Not only am I sitting in the lecture hall at seminary, but I'm also 12 years old eating tater tots with my parents and siblings on some summer Wednesday night, there's a slight sound of Green Day in the air and thoughts of trading baseball cards and playing hockey. I love tater tots and always did as a kid. But what do tater tots and Bioethics have to do with each other? This was the very question I was faced with last semester when I pulled up this program (it sort of felt like an out of body experience on some illegal substance - yet completely legal).

Now mind you these is an easy explaination for all this. This sc…

Found Objects: Halloween Cont'd

(my beautiful wife and handsome super hero son)

Super Owen says, "Evil doers, Beware!"

Found Objects: Halloween

Believe me when I say this, I haven't always been fine with celebrating Halloween. I grew up having a lot of fun with Halloween - though I admit I was a bit scared by evil I didn't understand. We would always have the loud scary sounds CD going and have the doorway decorated for when kids would come to the door. My mom would take me out no matter what I was dressed like. Some years it was a football player, or a knife wound victim, a dead football player, and I think once I was Batman. When I got older, Behn (my long time best friend) and I would go Trick-or-Treating until we got too old and other parents started giving us the evil eye.
In my college years when I converted from Catholicism to Protestantism I could have been described as a bit Fundamental. Halloween is a very real holiday for Pagan celebrations both today and in times past. I was very strict and literal about what I thought the Bible said about having to do with evil. Regarding Halloween-it was out because I co…

Found Objects: Family Fall Festivities

I suppose there are three found objects to this post...

1) Family: Our boy Owen was born on July 4th. He is just so darned cute and we love him so much. Everyday is a learning experience in what it means to be a parent and what it means to attempt to love someone (Heather and Owen) unconditionally. I have yet to figure out how a baby could survive without sleep-yet somehow he does. I think yesterday he slept for like 23 minutes all day. But he is such a sweet boy and really well tempered. He has a great smile and loves playing. We think he will be standing quickly because his legs, neck, and back are so strong. Oh, he also loves to walk the halls between 3 and 6 in the morning.

2) Fall: I'm not talking about when Adam and Eve ate forbidden fruit. I'm talking about the season. I don't know when this happened, but, in my mind, the Fall became the camp ground for starting school and football practice. Since each of these experiences had their challenges and difficulties they …

Found Objects: a chance to win a scholarship from Logos Bible Software!

This is the suggested message to put up on my blog.
Let's go with it...
Going to Seminary is expensive. On top of that, finding a scholarship can be really difficult. That's why I was so excited to find this Seminary Scholarship website today. Not only are they giving away a $1,000.00 scholarship and a digital theological library, all I had to do to apply was watch a short video and answer a few questions! It took less than 15 minutes. What is best of all is that if you're in seminary and apply for the Seminary Scholarship, and put my name as the person who referred you, if you win the scholarship, so do I!

We could both get a $1,000.00 scholarship and digital theological library.

So, do us both a favor and go apply for the Seminary Scholarship today.

Found Objects: A Competition to Guess the Starbucks Coffee I Want!

So two weeks ago, I posted a competition. Given my enjoyment of each of Starbucks eight bold coffees you-my loyal readers who I have been kept waiting more than two weeks for the results- were given the opportunity to guess which bold brew I would choose.

And the winner is: Alyssa Joy, Wethersfield who voted for Sumatra! I will be rewarding her with a coffee themed prize.
Why Sumatra out of all the Bold Coffees? It was simply my favorite (alongside Komodo Dragon). Yet unlike Komodo Dragon, I had never had an entire bag of it before. I thought I would capitalize on this freebie and try Sumatra! Good guess, Alyssa!

Found Objects: A Competition to Guess the Starbucks Coffee I Want!

I don't often get to do things like this on my blog...but I want to try it now for the first time. We are going to have a contest! That's right- a contest!
You see, over eight weeks this spring I had opportunity to sample eight bold Starbucks coffees from around the world. Starbucks is going to reward me for taking this journey by giving me a free pound of coffee. Every week I received my coffee bean sticker for purchasing a coffee from the featured bold coffee of the week. Because I imbibed my fair share of bold coffees this Spring, and have the right amount of stickers, I qualify for the free java. So now I have a chance to choose from the eight bold coffees the one of which I would want an entire bag. But before I decide, I want you to take a guess!
Which coffee do you think I'm going to get? Since, I'm getting something free, the winner of this competition will get something free as well! The coffee I will choose is one of the eight I sampled, and there are eight blog…

Bold Coffee: Sumatra

Week #8: Sumatra
Earthy and unpredictable – our most popular single-origin coffee.
This is the most likely coffee our baristas will choose when it’s time for them to sit back and relax. It has a full body with virtually no acidity, so the coffee’s intensity and flavor simply lingers on your tongue. When you feel like taking a bolder path the concentrated herbal notes and earthy aroma of Sumatra won’t let you down.
Well, this time of the semester the papers are in, verses have been memorized, tests have been taken, and all that remains is to finish up assigned reading. And boy, oh boy, is there a lot of reading! What could be better to help you read through a huge book than coffee with a tiger on it? Not a thing could be better!
Don't get me wrong- I love to read. This is one (of many) areas in which GCTS has pushed me academically. In reading more pages than ever before I have grown to read faster. In writing so many papers I have been forced to learn how to write a paper so that it m…

Bold Coffee: Gold Coast

Week #7 Gold Coast Blend
This is our biggest, boldest blend – a coffee with "big shoulders".
The source of Gold Coast Blend's bigness is a secret recipe of Latin America, Asia/Pacific and dark roast coffees. Created to celebrate the big city of Chicago, the interplay of these very different coffees weaves a deep and densely rich, sophisticated taste. A style all it's own, this coffee is truly one in a million.
I like knowing Starbucks is human too. By my account, that tag line has a typo at the end-"big shoulders". I may need to review my punctuation rules regarding quotes and punctuation inside or outside the end quote, but for now I am comforted to know that nobody-even Starbucks-is perfect.

Well, with my spring finals coming up, I needed a strong coffee! This one was definitely strong enough to keep me studying. I needed some caffeine to keep my eyes on the prize. But the prize this year was a few papers, two finals, and a bunch of reading. I had this coffe…

Bold Coffee: Café Estima

Week #6: Café Estima

Full of rich bodied flavor and great respect for the farmers who grew it.

Café Estima is 100% Fair Trade Certified coffee. Its name means "respect", and its goal is to do good things for the farmers growing it. This is a full-bodied, well-balanced coffee with great versatility. From Latin America and East Africa, this coffee shows just how delicious it can be to turn beliefs into action.

This was a really good coffee. I had one early in the week to get me through a little Hebrew studies. Haha get it, He Brews! I had another one on Tax Day. They offered a free coffee in celebration of Earth Day (or maybe it was Tax Day-I wasn’t really sure). But if you brought in your own reusable travel mug, you would get a free coffee. So I broke out my Christmas-themed Starbucks travel mug that my parents got me three or four years ago for Christmas and I headed over there! I got a free coffee on my way to Trader Joe's. It was really yummy and a good way to start off…

Bold Coffee: Caffè Verona

Week # 5: Caffè Verona

If Cupid used coffee instead of arrows, this would be his weapon of choice.

Caffè Verona is a seductive blend of beans from Latin America and Indonesia, with a gentle touch of Italian Roast lending depth, soul and sweetness. Because this delectable combination pairs so very well with chocolate, it has become a Valentine's Day favorite. For all those who want to love like they mean it, you've found your match.

Well, as soon as Starbucks invokes the name of Cupid, you expect to develop a crush on your next coffee. I expected this affectionate little brew to warm me up as I stressed over my paper. My paper was a Christian response to Euthanasia and there is nothing that gets you through a paper as tough as this one better than a pipping hot cup-o-Cupid's brew. Well, though I wasn't enchanted with this Joe, it was a good coffee, don't misunderstand me. Let's just say I wasn't head over heels in love. Also, my wife isn't a connoisseur of…

Bold Coffee: Komodo Dragon

Week #4: Komodo Dragon

Spicy, herbal and earthy, each sip evokes the lushness of Indonesia.

Like the remarkable Komodo Dragon, this coffee is bold and surprisingly snappy. Until recently, it was just as rare as the elusive and endangered animal. Initially sold exclusively online, it became so popular it was unleashed in stores as well. It’s an assertive combination of several Asia/Pacific coffees: part bright, biting acidity and part earthy, loamy smoothness.

When I worked as a Laboratory Technician at Metal Management Aerospace, I had a good friend whose girlfriend at the time worked at a Starbucks. Being familiar with my coffee obsession, they were nice enough to give me a free pound of this blend. I was very grateful to my friend, JL. Boy oh boy was it good!

This visit, I liked it even more! I had a huge Starbucks cookie, my dragon coffee, and a pastoral ministry book. Does it get any better than that? Beyond the great flavor of the coffee, dragons are fierce, medieval creatures. Tho…

Bold Coffee: (STARBUCKS) Red

Week #3: (STARBUCKS) RED
A good coffee will change your day. A great one will change the world.

This incredible blend of East African coffees delicately balances a gentle acidity with complex floral notes and brown spice. But even more special than the striking flavors it displays is the impact it makes. For every cup of (STARBUCKS)RED coffee sold, Starbucks will contribute $0.05 to the Global Fund to help people living with HIV in Africa. The purchase of a 1lb bag will also provide a $1 donation. Start your day with one and you’ll be making a difference.

My least favorite flavor so far. I do wonder what a "Brown Spice" is. Whatever it is, it doesn't taste that good. After all there was no "Brown Spice" Girl as far as I know (and nothing surpasses my knowledge of the Spice Girls). Besides being the flavor I liked the least, I also had this brew on a bad day. I forgot my free pastry coupon for which I was denied the freebie. I also broke my umbrella while walking …

Bold Coffee: Italian Roast

Week #2: Italian Roast

This sturdy dark roast is a sweet, bold cup of coffee.
Somewhere beyond the caramel notes of our Espresso Roast but short of the smokiness that identifies our French Roast – that is the sweet spot held by Italian Roast. What is created after the coffee cools is a sturdy and sweet blend, potent and intense. Sit back, relax and enjoy La Dolce Vita.
Remember how I said caffeine can give me the jitters sometimes? Well, depending on other factors, it can also make me itchy. After one, I was shaky and itchy. It had a great and potent flavor which I loved, but after one and a half I felt as if I was covered with creepy-crawlers. I was trying to avoid shaking my notebook right off the table while trying to learn a verbal stem for Hebrew. After my one and a half coffees, I had to call it a night and head home. How long do you think it took me to fall asleep that night?
Great flavor, enough caffeine to wake the dead. 1.5 out of 5 refills

Bold Coffee: Yukon Blend

Week #1: Organic Yukon Blend
It’s hearty, rugged and well-rounded with deep and spicy flavor notes.

Gutsy, robust and ready to face the untamed northern reaches, this coffee has a tale as old as Starbucks itself. Created for the captain of a fishing fleet who wanted to keep his crew happy in chilly sub-arctic seas, this coffee will get you going in the most difficult of times. Even if that difficult time is motivating yourself to get out and walk the dog.


Let's hit the ground running! I enjoyed a chilly Friday night out at my favorite local Starbucks. My wife, her sister, and her cousin had a weekend planned together, but the rain kept them in our apartment. So I enjoyed getting out of the house to work on some school reading. This grizzly of a coffee and a Bioethics book kept me company on my trip. This brew was a great way to get this coffee marathon started. It had a great flavor that really did take the rainy chill off. It was enjoyable and didn't give me jitters- which som…

Found Objects: Something Bold Is Brewing

Starbucks recently promoted bold coffees with their campaign, "Something Bold is Brewing." It was a pretty good idea and I was excited to try it out. Over the next eight weeks Starbucks would be featuring all of their bold coffees for you to try. This was marketed as a trip around the world through all of their bold coffees. This idea of travel was supported by the need of a "Passport" to participate. You needed to obtain a "Passport" from your Barista to use over the next two months. Every week when you would try a new bold coffee, they would give you a sticker. After you tried all eight bold coffees, and attained all eight coffee bean stickers, a pound of the bold you enjoyed the most could come home with you for free! As established in a previous post, I cant find too many things better than free coffee.

Lets just ignore the logistics of it all...

Well, maybe we'd better think this through because curiosity is getting the better of me.

You could pu…

Found Objects: April Fools

If we haven't had a chance to talk in person about it yet, this Mini Cooper Post was an April Fools Joke. Throughout the month of April I tried to find a photo of the real Trader Joe's Mini Cooper, but to no avail. I promise, a Mini Cooper with a big ol'Trader Joe's logo does exist. There was a photo of that car when it was at the Topsfield Fair in my store when I began working there pinned to a board with other photos. At some point it was taken off the break room cork board and then somehow disappeared. With the disappearing picture disappeared my chances of adequately tying up the loose ends of my April Fools post.
That emblem was a real found object though. One late and rainy night after work I came across it in the parking lot. I was pretty excited about finding it because I was thinking of all the cool posts I could write about it. I even began to talk about this blog to a friend and all my ideas for topics I could write about. But the joke post won me over becaus…

"Found" Object - Motorcycle Accident

I was the chaplain on call for the evening. One of my last few shifts at the hospital. I finished up a rather uneventful Sunday night and slowly meandered to my car. As I approached the street, I heard a motorcycle engine rev up but then crash. I ran to see the crash and quickly called 911. I somehow did not know the street name but we were. We were literally yards from the hospital emergency room so it was pretty easy to explain where the crash occurred. The ambulance had to travel farther than I would have walked to get him there.
The motorcycle driver had revved his engine, but when he drove over the manhole cover he lost traction and tumbled. He had fallen and crashed his bike, lost a shoe, and was scraped up. I was glad for him that he was wearing a helmet. A nurse was also walking to her car at the same time. The two of us were the first responders. I was grateful she was the one to check him and see if he had any neck injuries. We were also interviewed for the Salem News befor…

Found Objects: Mini Cooper

As some of you may be aware, I've been working at Trader Joe's for almost two years now. It's been such a great experience so far and I've appreciated everyone I have worked with. The company is so good to us in many ways. One such way is that they purchased a Mini Cooper with a Trader Joe's logo on the side of it that they use to advertise at fairs and events. While not in use for those business-type events, they let the employees of the highest grossing store in the region use the car. It's a pretty sweet thing. I have heard it can be reserved for weekends, and all share the use.

Well, we aren't the highest grossing store in the region, but our manager, Erik, spoke with the managers in the Cambridge store, and they agreed to let our store have a month with the car. Since there are so many employees, we had to split the days and have a lottery to see who would get to use the car. I was one of the 15 employees who got to use the car over the month of March…

Found Objects: Free Coffee

What's better than coffee?
What's better than free?
Go get some!

Found Objects: Brazilian Sandal

Heather and I found a lost little sandal whilst combing the dunes of Salem Willows. This delightful little locale was recommended to us by my long time friend, Diane, who lived and worked in this area for some years. We found this lovely location to be quite enjoyable. It has been our destination for many sunny day expeditions (and maybe a few rainy day expeditions too!).

I stumbled upon this little sandal during a search for some treasures. I dont know exactly what enticed me. It could have been any number of things really-the potential of finding an aluminnum can to recycle, a glass bottle to break (which I like to call "recycling into future sea glass"), or finding something rustly that Heather will want to take a photo of. This sandal was far up in the rocks, so I figured it floated in on high tide and hit land when tide went down. However it landed, I decided this find was good enough to be a bloggable Found Object.

My tradition is well defined when I discover a Found O…

Found Objects: Granola Bar

Doesn't this look delicious?
You probably answer, "No." (So would I)

I found this beauty as I was walking to class one morning. She was sitting along the side of the road near the terminator between asphalt and snowy grass. I tell ya, I nearly scooped her up and ate her as my mid-morning snack (Not true).

But this granola bar did get me thinking about my weight. When I began Weight Watchers in 2005 I was very successful. With the help of home cooked meals from mom, rigidly structured lunches and breakfasts, I kept myself in line for the most part. I relied heavily on fake sugars and chemicals from Diet Coke to Sweet & Low to the occasional Splenda in order to eat enough to maintain a "full" feeling. In reflection, I wonder if I relied on fake sugars too much and what it could have done to my body.

I was (am) very proud of my successes and I have granola bars like this one to thank. These three point beauties sustained me for many mornings until lunch could roll…

Found Objects: A New Job!

No, not really a new job. I still work at Trader Joe's. In fact, my job at Trader Joe's provided me with the opportunity of coming across this funny little pamphlet for a local construction business. It was placed right on top of my cash register as if someone either wanted to spontaneously advertise or dropped it out of their pocket accidentally. Either way, I found it and wanted to share it here.

I used to work in construction. It was a brief position where I was most often put in charge of "Controlled Demolition." That's resume language for "I was the new guy and the only thing I could do by myself was take things down and clean things up!" It was a good place for me to be shortly after I graduated college and waited to decide what I would do next. Somewhere in that time I decided to begin classes at Gordon-Conwell.

My fervor for building and taking apart was excited to the point where I told my parents I wanted to put extra insulation in my bedroom a…

Found Objects: Bowling Pin Water Bottle

This is Evan. He and I work together at Trader Joe's. Every once and a while we are assigned to tracking down carts in the parking lot. (You may remember how fun the TJ parking lot is by my previous posts for the cat magnet and the belly dancer post card.) It's not a terrible duty to have, unless there is snow. When there is snow it certainly is a terrible assignment!

One winter day last year Evan arrived with this water bottle which resembled a bowling pin. I made sure to snap a picture so I could post it as a found object. Though I didn't personally find this object, it is one of the most random things that has been "found" by me or that my friends have shared with me. I don't know if he ever used it. But come to think of it, who would ever use a water bottle shaped like a bowling pin?

Books of 2009

Thielicke, Helmut, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians
Koester, Craig R., The Word of Life: A Theology of John’s Gospel
Metzger, Bruce M. and Bart D. Ehrman. The Text of the New Testament (4th Ed)
Ronald J. Sider, The Scandal of Evangelical Politics
John Jefferson Davis, Evangelical Ethics
Dennis P. Hollinger, Choosing The Good
Van Engen, Charles. Mission on the Way
Escobar, Samuel. New Global Missions: The Gospel from Everywhere to Everyone
Wilson, J. Christy. More to Be Desired than Gold
Wells, David F. Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World

This is beginning to be a tradition. I have begun to track the books read in each year. My hope is that by doing so I will challenge myself to stay consistent with my reading. There is such a connection between my reading and personal growth that by staying in a book I feel like I am enabling myself to grow.

Last year, my first year in tracking my book totals, I had 19. That exceeded my goal of one book per month. This year I topped…